I would agree with most of what has been posted re: Sharpe series, but must, just must, get my two cents worth in!
First of all, I think Sean Hirst's comment about Sharpie doing us some good if he raises interest in our time period is right on. When someone asks me about the series who obviously is a big fan, I never run it down. I agree that it's really neat. Then, I quietly start pointing out that limitations in budget meant they had to cut a few corners - the 'real thing' is even neater! This way, you channel the enthusiasm towards doing things more historically correct.
Personally, I think the books are far superior to the shows - but this is, actually, because of budget limitations i.e. I really believe what I tell our neophyte on this score!
In addition to Obidiah, I personally find Frederickson quite amusing: "Men are dirty, guns are clean": isn't this the essence of the Peninsular army?
As a bit of fun, here is my vote for "best scene" from the tv series, and worst...
Best: the congreve rocket battery scene: uniforms are nice, rockets are neat.
Worst: the chosen men are carousing in a tavern as Sgt. Harper goes to talk them in to accompanying Sharpie on a dangerous mission. The Chosen men have decided they're "out of there" and intend on going to catch a boat back home the next day. Harper patiently talks them in to agreeing to accompany Sharpie.
God, to describe this scene actually HURTS! As if any british soldier of our time period had these sorts of choices open to them, and as if... well, I could go on & on, but I'm sure you're all wincing about this one... It'll be a hard one to top, I'm sure!